Saturday saw one of the biggest paid international events Pokémon Go has hosted, the Kanto Tour. Costing a not-cheap $11.99, it was a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Pocket Monsters, with the hit mobile game going back to the series’ origins for a 12-hour celebration of the OG 151 Pokémon. Except, they accidentally let some people in for free.
Reports seem to indicate (thanks Eurogamer) this was first discovered after the international start time of 9am had swept through New Zealand and Australia, not caught until the rampant timewave had spread halfway around the world, leaving a lot of people who’d forked out a fair amount for a single day’s play a little cheesed off.
As a response, POGO creators Niantic have promised an as-yet undetailed “bonus event” for those who paid to play, to try to make up for any hard feelings.
It certainly wasn’t the only thing that went wrong during the day, but having spent the entire 12 hours playing, I can attest that it was overall a pretty good time.
Other issues included a rather tiresome period when the game would only allow players to use local raid passes when trying to enter remote raids, which certainly didn’t win me any favors over on PokeRaid. Plus there was a lot of lag on the app, with the millions of extra people all online at once.
However, for the good proportion of the day there was a packed schedule of tasks and challenges to plough through, with the ultimate prize of the first appearance of Shiny Ditto waiting at the end. This was accompanied by a frenzied collection of collection challenges, in which all 151 Kanto-region Pokémon were available to catch at various times throughout the day.
This also featured appearances of shiny versions of every Kanto ‘mon, including all those never previously released—and all far more likely to find than usual. Every hour the roster of Pokémon available changed, while raids saw appearances from Moltres (shiny caught!), Zapdos (shiny caught!), and Articuno (muffled sadness, but there’s still time). Oh, and yeah, MewTwo too. Ahem. Bear with me...
Um, yes, I was playing with my six-year-old and this was all for him, clearly.
I’m still dealing with his disappointment on discovering that shiny Ditto doesn’t, after all, transform into the shiny versions of the Pokémon he’s battling. (“But what’s even the point then?! He’s just a different color Ditto!”) Believe me, telling him that it’s the same in the console games (bar gen 3, I’m told) is no consolation. Nor is rationalizing that it wouldn’t be very good mimicry if he were a different color (but pooh on that dumb argument, Redditors, because regular Ditto doesn’t mimic shinies!).
However, finishing the day’s antics has unlocked something far more exciting: the pursuit of a shiny Mew. This is no small feat. The first round of challenges asked us to get 151 great throws, which we polished off in a day. The second has asked us to collect 151 different species of Pokémon, plus 30 of every type of Pokémon. That’s potentially 540+ catches, albeit significantly reduced by monsters that overlap two types. Oh, and to catch Pokémon for 30 days in a row. So that’ll stop the grinders getting there first (but as ever will allow the Aussies and Kiwis to bag it before the rest of the world). I daren’t find out what stage 3 might entail.
Keep an eye on Niantic’s social media for information on what the bonus event will be. I’m really hoping it’ll include another chance to get a flipping shiny Snorlax, because that cuddly beast eludes me so.